Does size matter in a carry gun?


PDA






UKTN
October 11, 2007, 07:04 PM
This is not one of those threads on which is a better caliber for self defense, I know there is much disagreement on which caliber is appropriate for self defense so here goes.
I was looking at a couple of hand guns I own a Kel Tec 380 and a Ruger 22/45.
The Kel Tec would obviously be a better self defense gun but the Ruger despite being a 22 is much larger, so if a bad guy was confronted by each gun do you think the Ruger would be more intimidating. I know you shouldn't pull a gun unless you are prepared to use it. But the Kel Tec is so small and the Ruger looks more gun.

If you enjoyed reading about "Does size matter in a carry gun?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Jimmie
October 11, 2007, 07:18 PM
Intimidation means NADA, ZILCH, ZERO, NOTHING in an armed encounter. If you're going to draw it, you better be ready to fire it, and it better be something that'll stop the other guy from doing you and yours harm. Never decide on a carry gun based on any perceived intimidation factor. /rant off.

If you carry the 22 for its intimidation and he doesn't run away at the sight of it, then what?

lanternlad1
October 11, 2007, 07:22 PM
+1

Don't worry about intimidation. Worry about your target and what's behind it.

Carry the gun you shoot best - but I would suggest carry at least a .380 or better yet, a 9mm or .38.

LarryS.
October 11, 2007, 07:23 PM
What Jimmie said.....+1 with great emphasis!!

Guitargod1985
October 11, 2007, 07:27 PM
If I wanted to intimidate someone I certainly wouldn't do it with a handgun. An AK is far more appropriate. :D I personally would go with a smaller gun if you're trying to conceal. The only way that I would carry a "large" handgun would be for open carry, which is illegal here in Florida for all practical purposes.

First Shirt
October 11, 2007, 07:27 PM
Some people don't scare worth a damn, and some people have been shot before. Grandpa always said that you shouldn't let your mouth write checks that your butt can't cover, and that is exactly what you are doing!

JWB

skinewmexico
October 11, 2007, 07:27 PM
You will carry something that is Kel-Tec size more often than something bigger though. At least I do.

springmom
October 11, 2007, 07:28 PM
You don't pull a gun to intimidate. You pull a gun to save your life. If a robber is going to be scared off by the fact that you have a gun, the size of it wouldn't matter. Carry the gun that will get the job done.

Springmom

gbran
October 11, 2007, 09:56 PM
Ah, don't worry, carry the .22, it's all about shot placement anyway. (/sarcasm)

RoadkingLarry
October 11, 2007, 10:09 PM
Carry and shoot the most powerful gun/caliber that you can safely and discreetly handle with accuracy. That being said a solid hit with a .22 LR is better than a miss with a 9 mm.

Crunker1337
October 11, 2007, 10:19 PM
Of course size matters. If size didn't matter I'm sure many THR members would have rifles slung over their backs on the way to work. :)

magnolia
October 11, 2007, 11:00 PM
Well, you can always carry both...........I dont like the idea of carrying a 22 though. If you ever have to shoot at someone, you better shoot to kill. I carry a 380 in my waistband and a 9mm in the car. You never know!

OAKVILLE SHOOTER
October 11, 2007, 11:13 PM
Drawing a handgun soley for the intimidation factor is commonly called "brandishing a firearm"

"Never point a gun at anything you do not want to destroy."

The Kel Tec would be the better choice, IMO.

RNB65
October 11, 2007, 11:22 PM
Damn right size matters. The smaller and more compact the gun, the more likely you're going to carry it on a regular basis.

Of course, it has to be reliable. A tiny, compact gun that jams on every other pull of the trigger ain't going to be much use in a fight.

Jamie C.
October 11, 2007, 11:28 PM
This argument seems a little bass-ackwards to me...
You carry a small caliber gun because it's the largest thing you can conceal... the more concealable it needs to be, the smaller it needs to be. And generally, the smaller the caliber, the smaller the gun.

Based on that, you'd carry a .22 because it's smaller than a gun in .380. A .380 because it's smaller than a 9mm or a .45. But basically you carry the largest caliber/gun you can keep covered.

So, choosing a large .22 over a small .380 is just... backwards.

Unless of course you're planning on having to make a head shot from a fairly long distance, which would fall under the heading of a whole 'nother situation/argument. :confused:

Anyway, forget the whole .22 thing and carry the .380. It's extra power and larger hole will be much more "intimidating" that the physical size of the .22 pistol.


J.C.

Geronimo45
October 11, 2007, 11:48 PM
Intimidation... not the factor you should prepare for. I wouldn't give up on caliber and concealability for it. If you're a much better shot with the .22, that might be a factor to consider - but not intimidation factor. The idea is normally that when you draw, you are going to shoot.

Zangetsu
October 11, 2007, 11:57 PM
I agree with the people who've said carry what you shoot best, and if that's a .22, fine. Lugging around something in .45 ACP won't do you a lick of good if you can't hit anything with it. So what if it takes a few to drop him with the .22? At least you'll be hitting your mark, and in the end, I'm pretty sure getting shot a few times with anything will ruin your day. You don't want to be that guy from Pulp Fiction who storms into the room, unloads his revolver, only to discover that he's hit nothing but dry wall...

Officers'Wife
October 12, 2007, 12:16 AM
Hi UKTN,

My husband has a 9mm that he would use. Personally I would reach for the ancient Colt DA in 32-20. Mainly because it's the first center fire handgun I ever fired and aiming the thing is second nature to me. As someone far more wise and experienced than I noted- a .22 in the brain beats a .45 through the window.

Selena

CheyennePilot
October 12, 2007, 12:16 AM
I look at it differently. Let's say you were one of the boys heading down to the OK Corral. You can have your choice of weapons. My choice would be a street sweeper loaded with OO buckshot. I know, it's hard to conceal, but if you feel you need protection from the street zombies, would you feel safe carrying a .22 or .380?

sacp81170a
October 12, 2007, 07:15 AM
I think the OP wasn't so much concerned with the caliber as the physical size of the gun:

the Ruger despite being a 22 is much larger, so if a bad guy was confronted by each gun do you think the Ruger would be more intimidating.

If a gun looking bigger makes the BG think it's more powerful then there might be some merit to the question. I wouldn't bet my life on it, though. Carry what's most effective that you can conceal, not what you think might scare the BG.

Geno
October 12, 2007, 07:30 AM
UKTN Said:

The Kel Tec would obviously be a better self defense gun but the Ruger despite being a 22 is much larger, so if a bad guy was confronted by each gun do you think the Ruger would be more intimidating. I know you shouldn't pull a gun unless you are prepared to use it. But the Kel Tec is so small and the Ruger looks more gun.

That is the kind of thread and thought that makes THR look bad. Furthermore, such a post could potentially end up used against the OP if ever involved in a defensive situation. In a real-world case, the bad guy would never have the opportunity to identify what type firearm was used to stop the attack. Drawing a firearm for intimidation-sake is brandishing, period!

In addition, the .380 ACP is a poor choice as a primary carry piece. The .22LR would be laughable at best as a primary piece. The minimum allowed in the Tactical and Advanced Tactical Shooting courses is a 9mm or .38 Spcl. The P3AT or .22LR is fine for a back-up pistol, but that is about it.

annielulu
October 12, 2007, 08:14 AM
I have a Khar PM9 that I carry everyday. Very easy to carry.

I strapped on a .45 revolver one day just to see how it would be.

I couldn't wait to get home and take it off. Very uncomfortable compared to the Khar.

When you carry all the time, size does matter.

mavracer
October 12, 2007, 09:08 AM
yes the ruger is probably more intimadating,But will the BG be intimadated if he's not your in trouble.Do I think there's a chance the BG will run when he breaks in to the house and hears my 60lb boxer and my 1911 slide rack.sure but there's a loaded mag in it in case BG's not the intimataded type.

Neophyte1
October 12, 2007, 09:12 AM
Officers 'Wife: Ma'am; I like that:)

P97
October 12, 2007, 09:44 AM
There is a middle of the road in size for most people where they can shoot and conceal them best. I can shoot the larger guns better than the very small guns, so I have to find the middle ground where I can shoot accurately and also conceal them. My advice would to find the smallest gun that you can shoot accurately, and then figure out a way to carry it all the time.

Hokkmike
October 12, 2007, 09:49 AM
Thenk my wife works at was held up with a BB gun. Nobody knew. Nobdy cared. It was scary all the same.

feedthehogs
October 12, 2007, 09:55 AM
That is the kind of thread and thought that makes THR look bad

Sorry, but I think its a legitimate question of self defense issues.

I've been an instructor for decades and that type of question has been asked many times.

For someone who may have only those two options for carry, either is better than NOTHING.

But like some have said, do not depend on the intimidation factor.

JWarren
October 12, 2007, 10:25 AM
I am in the school of thought that ANY firearm is better than NO firearm.


But I'm also in the school of thought that you need to have one that will do the job. I personally believe that it is more important to get a caliber and platform that WILL do the job and then PRACTICE until you can hit with it. Picking a gun and caliber because you can shoot it best doesn't seem like the best approach. GETTING good with the one that will work seems to be better. That's why I don't take a 10/22 deer hunting.

Now, I do agree that there is a LOT of dead people who got shot with .22 rimfires. Yeah, they can kill you. All firearms are dangerous.


At the same time, I have anecdotal evidence that fails to instill the proper confidence in using a .22 rimfire for self-defense.

One guy that I know was shot with a .22 rimfire rifle in the torso. He was drunk/high at a party. His girlfriend broke up with him and he was depressed. It is believed that he shot himself with the rifle. The bullet rattled around in his torso and ricocheted off of a couple of his ribs. The bullet missed his heart by less then 1/4 inch. I've spoken to the guy in the last few years and he maintains that he was so drunk/high that he never even felt the impact of the bullet. He almost died, but I suspect that someone in a similar state bent on a criminal act could have continued unaware of the shot-- and then bled out later.

I know two persons that have literally been shot in the forehead with .22 rimfires. In both cases, the bullet failed to penetrate the skull. In one case, the bullet went under the skin of the head and ran the contour of his skull. The bullet exited the skin at the base of his neck.

Now, I don't know the details of WHY these two men got shot. I've just seen the men. Could it have been just incredibly lucky for them? There is a good chance that this is the case.


Could it have been that they both have freakishly thick skulls? Probably. In both cases, evolution has not been kind to their families. I suspect that each family sported tails two generations ago.


Isolated cases, sure. But seeing these men walking around gives me that feeling that something more than a .22 rimfire would be nice.



And that is why I carry a 1911A1 .45ACP and my wife carries a Glock 19 9mm.



On another note:


Forget intimidation factor. When you hear of people getting their guns taken from them and getting shot with their own firearms, it is the people that pull guns to "intimidate."

You don't pull a gun unless you are in a position to where you would have to use it. If it isn't a situation where you have to use it, you need to keep it holstered. If you DO have to pull a gun, you had better be mentally in a place where you CAN use the firearm. In a situation where you HAVE to pull a gun and only waving it around hoping to scare another person will only get you killed.

I learned to read faces while competing in martial arts. You can read a lot about a person by their expression. I could tell if a guy was afraid in the ring, and I would make use of his fear. I could tell if a guy would prefer me to come to him, or wanted to rush me. I'd adjust accordingly. I could tell what a guy was planning by subconscious "telegraphing" of moves if they had any fear in them.

Likely, a criminal element bent on harming you has had enough life experiences that he can do the same. As I figure it, it isn't a conscious act. Criminals are predators by nature. A predator either has the instincts or has developed them. Likely, they will quickly size you up and know if you can pull the trigger. They will know if you will hesitate and will likely use that against you.

Now will all do that? Of course not. Like any population segment, the criminal element has their idiots. They don't make long careers of it. But you may be the first attempt. I'd rather give the benefit of the doubt and be pleasantly surprised.


Bottom line:

Get something that delivers the energy and mass needed to get the job done. Then get to where you can carry, draw and shoot it proficiently.

And then... most importantly... Train your mind to be able to deal with making hard choices. Prior to an engagement, reconcile your conscience and ethos to the act. A crisis situation is NOT the time to have a moral dilemma. Settle that crap before you need to act on it.


Again, just my thoughts.


-- John

TexasRifleman
October 12, 2007, 10:29 AM
Drawing a handgun soley for the intimidation factor is commonly called "brandishing a firearm"

Not in every state.

In Texas there is a specific statute covering drawing a gun but not firing, it's permissible to use as a "threat of deadly force" but not yet "deadly force" in the self defense force escalation.

In fact the only time I've pulled my carry piece was for exactly that.

This whole "if you draw it you have to shoot it" thing is insane.

Now, to draw it with the knowledge beforehand that you won't pull the trigger if things escalate is certainly crazy.

goon
October 12, 2007, 11:24 AM
Smaller is easier to carry, and most of us will carry more often if we can just stick the gun in a pocket or waistband and go.
I may get flamed for saying this, but caliber isn't that big of a deal (within reasonable range).
If someone attacks you and you shoot him twice COM with a .22LR you will probably stop him. If you do that with a .38 you will also probably stop him. If you don't, continue pulling the trigger.
There are accounts of even the mighty M-1 Garand failing to stop japanese soldiers during WWII and having to resort to the bayonet so caliber isn't everything (but it certainly is something).

Big Boomer
October 12, 2007, 11:38 AM
Gbran preached: Ah, don't worry, carry the .22, it's all about shot placement anyway. :rolleyes:

+1

RoadkingLarry retorted: Carry and shoot the most powerful gun/caliber that you can safely and discreetly handle with accuracy. That being said a solid hit with a .22 LR is better than a miss with a 9 mm.

+1

Doc2005 Spewed: That is the kind of thread and thought that makes THR look bad. Furthermore, such a post could potentially end up used against the OP if ever involved in a defensive situation. In a real-world case, the bad guy would never have the opportunity to identify what type firearm was used to stop the attack. Drawing a firearm for intimidation-sake is brandishing, period!

In addition, the .380 ACP is a poor choice as a primary carry piece. The .22LR would be laughable at best as a primary piece. The minimum allowed in the Tactical and Advanced Tactical Shooting courses is a 9mm or .38 Spcl. The P3AT or .22LR is fine for a back-up pistol, but that is about it.

-500 please see quote above I thought it's about what you can hit? NOT miss :rolleyes:

.22lr would be laughable? I thought you were not trying to intimidate anyone?

Well Whoop-te-freakin-do tactical and advanced bla bla crap. Good for you mall ninja!

So if all anyone owns is a small caliber, they shouldn't carry it because it just might make the perp more upset!

Pulling your gun and not firing is NOT brandishing if you had the right to use deadly force to begin with. But I suppose you are one of those guys that if he pulls his gun he has to shoot something?! And THAT is supposed to be a model THR member?! Let me direct you to the nearest funny farm and a straight jacket...we will put you in a round room and tell you to go pee in the corner...

There are many instances in which a firearm was unused successfully while being drawn to defend oneself. Many perps will suddenly think twice when their target is no longer easy prey.

So you are walking down the street and a group of twenty something gangbangers decides they want to rob/attack you. You pull your weapon they scatter like roaches. Problem solved. No one died.

You: pulls weapon and starts firing at everyone people get shot in the back and crawl along the ground, you put a couple of shots in the back of the head cuz they "were still squirmin". Let's just see who goes to jail :scrutiny:

Sorry a bit off topic, had to correct the people that were leading us in the wrong direction and give some praise.

Ok so, a LARGER gun? Well yes! This is for a couple of reasons.

1. Larger guns will have more weight and recoil less; therefore, will be inherently more accuate with follow up shots. If you are recoil shy this is definitely a bonus.

2. Larger guns I assume look like they might do more damage and therefore be more intimidating yes.

3. Larger guns are usually more controllable because of weight distribution and larger grips that are more comfortable.

Cons?

Larger guns are harder to conceal (for most)

JWarren thoughtfully spoke: I am in the school of thought that ANY firearm is better than NO firearm.

+2

JWarren misstepped with this: You don't pull a gun unless you are in a position to where you would have to use it. If it isn't a situation where you have to use it, you need to keep it holstered. If you DO have to pull a gun, you had better be mentally in a place where you CAN use the firearm. In a situation where you HAVE to pull a gun and only waving it around hoping to scare another person will only get you killed.


Please see above, you don't have to pull the trigger if you don't have to. Also a problem solved without spending $20,000 in court fees to defend yourself seems to be a better route. That being said if you have to pull the trigger then by all means shoot that sucka!

But I am of the thought that if your gun leaves the holster, you better had been justified, and second don't forget to call your local law enforcement or you might just end up being the bad guy.

JWarren is bordering on mall ninjaness with:I learned to read faces while competing in martial arts. You can read a lot about a person by their expression. I could tell if a guy was afraid in the ring, and I would make use of his fear. I could tell if a guy would prefer me to come to him, or wanted to rush me. I'd adjust accordingly. I could tell what a guy was planning by subconscious "telegraphing" of moves if they had any fear in them.


I've taken a few years of martial arts too but you can never be 100% accurate judging a persons intent, especially if they happen to be "altered" on some drugs. So leave the "mall ninja" or "superman" tactics out us mere mortals cannot do those things.

All that being said, I imagine I've pushed a few buttons and some of you want to jump through the computer screen and beat me silly.

I was mostly being a smart A$$ so don't worry about it! It's Friday! Go to the range and kill some targets! :p

Oh and for what it's worth...my wife says size does matter!

jefnvk
October 12, 2007, 01:01 PM
If you carry the 22 for its intimidation and he doesn't run away at the sight of it, then what?

If he is anythign like me, he can put 10 rounds into a much smaller grouping than with any other gun he owns. I shoot those clay rabbits with my 22/45. I can't hit a bullseye pistol target at 50% with my 9mm.

BTW I am fully of the opinion that if you want a man-stopper, you must carry a 500 S&W. The 45 did an excellent job through the 20th century, but there are much better options available today. If the 500 is just too big to carry, I suppose that you can get by with a .44 Mag or a .454 Causall, but I'm just not sure I'd feel comfortable with such peashooters.

Zundfolge
October 12, 2007, 01:06 PM
Intimidation means NADA, ZILCH, ZERO, NOTHING in an armed encounter.
I'll agree with this.

In the heat of the moment, a small gun looks pretty darn large. Years ago when I was robbed the perp used a Raven .25 ... at the time he drew it, it looked as menacing as a .44mag.

If intimidation worked, you could pack a cheap airsoft pistol but the point is if you're going to draw your weapon you should be prepared to fire it ... that means pick enough gun to do the job.


That said, the little KelTec P3AT is a good "always" gun since its so small and light you can carry it pretty much everywhere ... and power wise its better than a .22 by a long shot. I'd recommend carrying something larger (9x19 or larger) but I'd rather see people carry a P3AT 24/7/365 than a .45 only part of the time.

kd7nqb
October 12, 2007, 01:06 PM
Size does matter in a carry gun

The larger it is, the harder to conceal and thus the more the gun will be a PITA, which in turn means you carry it less.

Zundfolge
October 12, 2007, 01:11 PM
The larger it is, the harder to conceal and thus the more the gun will be a PITA, which in turn means you carry it less.
This is true ... however if you throw away the El Cheapo Uncle Mike's nylon IWB holster and get a quality leather or Kydex molded holster you can comfortably carry a larger gun.

goon
October 12, 2007, 02:32 PM
You can carry it but what about concealment?
And you can't really argue the fact that a Kahr P-9 weighs less than a full sized steel frame 1911.
One is great for carry in colder weather - most of three seasons here in PA.
The other works great for summer - P9.
Right now, the P-9 is my "almost anytime" gun. Even my GF never seems to notice it unless she hugs me and feels it. For casual concealment under a T-shirt in a Don Hume IWB or just stuck in a coat pocket or mexican carry down to the convenience store its about perfect.
For me.
But you should carry what works for you. Be advised though that it has taken me a LOT of handguns to figure out what works.
Enjoy... :)

JWarren
October 12, 2007, 02:36 PM
Big Boomer wrote:

Quote:
JWarren misstepped with this: You don't pull a gun unless you are in a position to where you would have to use it. If it isn't a situation where you have to use it, you need to keep it holstered. If you DO have to pull a gun, you had better be mentally in a place where you CAN use the firearm. In a situation where you HAVE to pull a gun and only waving it around hoping to scare another person will only get you killed.

Please see above, you don't have to pull the trigger if you don't have to. Also a problem solved without spending $20,000 in court fees to defend yourself seems to be a better route. That being said if you have to pull the trigger then by all means shoot that sucka!

But I am of the thought that if your gun leaves the holster, you better had been justified, and second don't forget to call your local law enforcement or you might just end up being the bad guy.


BB,

Actually, you may re-consider your evaluation of my statement with this:

I never said you HAD to pull a trigger.

I DID say:

You don't pull a gun unless you are in a position to where you would have to use it. If it isn't a situation where you have to use it, you need to keep it holstered.


and this:

If you DO have to pull a gun, you had better be mentally in a place where you CAN use the firearm.


It is a mistake to believe that pulling always means shooting. I, myself, have had to draw before. I haven't shot anyone.

The difference, however, is that I WAS mentally prepared for that. The actions of the offending party altered my actions.

I stand by my assessment that you don't draw unless you are in a position where you realistically may have to use it. I stand by my assessment that you should be mentally in a position where you would use it if you are willing to draw it. I stand by my assessment that drawing without being in a position to use it physically or mentally is not a wise course of action.


But nowhere did I say that once a handgun leaves the holster, whether it is fired or not is out of our hands. As long as we have free will, that isn't the way of things-- regardless of what the gun-grabbers would have us believe.


I don't know if that alters your perception of my statement, but it is evident that I needed to clarify.


-- John

BlindJustice
October 12, 2007, 02:44 PM
I got a 686P, the seven shooter - and after handling it
it occurred to me that unlike a 6 shooter that has two
chambers visible on each side of the frame, the 686P
has 3 chamber mouths visible on each side of the frame.

So, besides the muzzle the other visible part on the
686P has a more vivually intimidating presentation ?

Or Would a 625 with the Varnes XPB 225 gr. BIG DIA.
HP make it look like a bundle of open seewer pipes ?


Intimidation is in the eye of the beholder, no?

that presumes the Rational Man, which meth heads are not

AntiqueCollector
October 12, 2007, 03:46 PM
I'd worry less about intimidation and more about effectiveness. I've carried guns that may look intimidating and I've carried others that did not. But all of them would have done the job if I needed them to. Some bad guys might laugh if I pull out one of my real old pocket revolvers (that shakes and rattles a bit) but they won't be if I have to pull the trigger.

JerryM
October 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
Size does matter, and so does bulk and weight. I find that I carry a KT P3AT a lot for that reason. I do not consider myself helpless with the .380. If I want something with more power I carry the Kahr P9. The other guns that I carry are a SA LW SS Compact .45, S&W 642, and Glock G26.

I know I am not going to carry a steel full size 1911. It is always better to have a .380 on your belt or in your pocket than a full size 1911 in the safe at home.

I guess one major reason that I carry the KT is that it is an inexpensive gun and I leave it out when I am not using it. I keep the others in a safe, and hate to go to the trouble of getting them out and loading them, etc.

Regards,
Jerry

ShunZu
October 12, 2007, 11:26 PM
When you really need it, an accurate, small .380 in the pocket is worth more than a .45 in the gun safe.

Glockman17366
October 13, 2007, 12:30 AM
In Pennsylvania, one is obligated to stop a threat to yourself or others (I'm not going into what constitutes a threat since this thread is about the "size" of the carry weapon). Please note, I wrote STOP, which doesn't necessarily mean kill.
I carry a .38 or 9 most the time. However, there was an attack on a man and GF in York PA several years ago that was stopped with a .32ACP.

The main thing is to have the weapon. Caliber is the carrier's choice. If one is comfortable with a .22, then that's the caliber to carry.

As I wrote, I do carry a .38 most frequently, followed by a 9 mm, there are times I carry a mouse gun (.32 ACP Beretta). I feel quite comfortable with that little handgun.

possum
October 13, 2007, 02:35 AM
i believe that the intimidation factor should never be a factor and i hate it when people say stuff in reference to it being intimidating, and thigs like "he'll poop his pants when he sees my chromed out desert eagle" i don't carry any gun because i think it will be intimidating, my opinion is people will either get a change of heart when you draw no matter what you have because it is a firearm or they aren't gonna stop no matter what you have and they are pllaned on carrying out what they were gonna do regardless.

i get some funny looks and people say some funny things about my small kahr k-40 but after they see what i am able to do with it at the range they normally change thier mind.

If you enjoyed reading about "Does size matter in a carry gun?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!